LSU Landscape Architecture Students Redesign Downtown Baton Rouge

LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture undergraduate (BLA) students created designs for the Baton Rouge community: Kathleen Bogaski’s Urban Design studio focused on creating a riverfront master plan and site-specific designs in Downtown Baton Rouge. Working with the BR Downtown Development District (DDD) led by Executive Director Whitney Hoffman Sayal, the team identified goals for improving the experience of visitors arriving along the riverfront.

Aims include to enhance the destinations, the park and plaza areas, riverfront trail, creating a stronger sense of place and connections to the natural systems and the city’s tourist destinations, and the downtown art and entertainment district.

LSU Landscape Architecture Student Complete Riverfront Study

LSU Landscape Architecture Student Group Study

On May 14, 2024, the Mayor-President and the Downtown Development District hosted an open house event highlighting the work of the landscape architecture students. The students highlighted their ideas on how to provide visitor and citizens more quality of life experiences and increase tourism to the region. The DDD also provided examples of how other cities have enhanced their waterfront, in addition to cities that have improved their convention centers.

”As we plan what improvements may be made to the River Center, we must plan how it could better connect to the riverfront in order to truly transform our city’s center and make it a major attraction that contributes to our region’s overall economic vitality,” according to the DDD report.

“A few students represented the BLA fifth year studio’s work from our previous semester studio, which aimed to combine all that we’ve learned at RRLSA into a design project focused on the Downtown Baton Rouge Riverfront,” said Ellen Sedlacek. She presented at the open house along with fellow students Jonah Foster and Dan Metzger.

“DDD showcased our master plans and individual site designs to residents and leaders of Baton Rouge to get the community excited about what the riverfront could look like,” she said. “As students, we tried to incorporate sustainable, forward-thinking design ideas that would work to enhance the local culture of Baton Rouge and the Mississippi River, and it was great to share our ideas with members of the community.”

“We are grateful to the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture students who have studied the riverfront and are excited to showcase their ideas,” said Sayal. “We believe their ideas will serve as a catalyst to further discussions on how to accentuate one of downtown’s greatest assets.”

East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, who attended the open house, celebrated their plans to turn the natural beauty of the riverfront into a “dynamic hub of activity.”

“I’m really excited to see the deep dive that the LSU landscape architecture students have taken,” she said. “Their innovative ideas and creative vision have sparked a new wave of possibilities for our riverfront.”

Learn more about the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture